Unkown Blogger Pursues a Deranged Quest for Normalcy

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To Be or Not To Be

Posted by ubpdqn on April 28, 2015

The current times cast a surreal and incomprehensible shadow over my dysthymic diathesis.  Thousands of lives lost in Nepal, millions of people displaced and children at risk; 11 people (from Australia, from France, Ghana, Brazil, Nigeria, the Philippines and Indonesia) waiting for execution in Indonesia, the tragic suicide of Sawyer Sweeten at the age of 19…these are part of the current media cycle…they are manifest tragedies from large to small scale and they are without doubt only the tip of the iceberg of macro and micro human suffering happening in the world today. Our view is skewed by a frame of reference, a frame at times imperceptibly sculpted by the complex interaction of the media and our “appetites”.

The large scale devastations such as Nepal are unintelligible to me. The tragedy of suicide, though a locally devastating event, is no less tragic to me for the hidden suffering of the individual and the expanding indelible scar on those left behind…the media frequently displays “friends” who assert “it came as a shock”, “we had no idea”… “if only he or she reached out”…I  suspect these self described friends would in all honesty do nothing, not want to know, displace responsibility…in short opt out of care, action or support. This is the microcosm of the large scale inertia and apathy that limits our compassion to people enduring the incomprehensible suffering of natural disaster, war, genocide, terrorism and other ideologically driven malevolence and I am as guilty or worse as any in this regard. Steven Pinker inspires to reflect on the better Angels of our nature and no doubt he builds a compelling case of a trajectory towards peace over millenia. However, my direct and local experience from the inside of melancholia has been that true kindness, support and understanding are much rarer than the overstated “circle of friends”. Of course, this is, perhaps, more a reflection of my character traits than indictment of others but perhaps it goes some way to insight into the “surprise” people (“friends”) exhibit. There is no doubt that true loved ones, those there in good times and bad are caught devastatingly unaware of the depth of the internal suffering that leads a person to an ultimate irreversible and far-reaching event…the sufferer wants not only to stop there own suffering but the burden they have imposed on those they love and have been there…these are a different class of people to the “friends” who express sentiments that they would never act on.

I believe these true loved ones are true heroes, as are those common people who are trying to rescue people in Nepal, those children standing by bodies out of respect, those countless and nameless aid workers who are just doing their job (digging out bodies, helping people get food water). I give thanks to those people who stand by the children of the lesser gods be the poor, the devastated by natural disaster,  who stand by those on death row, who recognize the humanity of the different, the depressed, the psychotic and otherwise misfits of the world. True kindness, perhaps love, is patient, long suffering and potentially transformative. It is not a slogan, a sound byte.  I thank the heroes in my life and am grateful for these largely invisible towers of strength.

“We are Groot”.


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